EXCELLENCE in farm safety in Co Waterford will be officially recognised following the launch of a targeted awards initiative for the county, writes Declan O’Brien.
The Hooper Dolan Farm Safety Awards were unveiled at Kildalton College last week and aim to identify Waterford farmers and agri-enterprises that prioritise safety in their operations.
These are the first county awards of their kind in the country and are backed by Teagasc and local company Hooper Dolan Insurances. The awards boast a prize fund of €2,000 for the winner.
The areas to be covered by the awards include risk assessment, machinery, livestock, animal handling facilities, buildings, slurry pits, farm equipment, grain and feed storage, meal bins, farm yard, electrics, farmyard lighting, children’s play area and farmer health checks.
“Health and safety is all about the application of good farm safety standards as well as good farm practices,” said John McNamara of Teagasc.
“There are many fine examples of good farm operations around the county and we need to highlight these ‘best practice farms’ to help promote awareness and better application of farm health, safety and risk assessment.
Cathal Lowe of Hooper Dolan Insurances said the company was delighted to sponsor the award scheme.
“If this initiative helps prevent only one farm accident over the coming years we would view this as a massive success,” he said.
The judging panel for the competition consists of Mr McNamara, Sue Phelan of Kildalton College and Kieran O’Connor of O’Connor Communications.
Pictured at the launch are: Pat Coady (Glanbia), Brendan Walsh (Glanbia), Paul Hennessy (principal of Kildalton College) and John Paul Kiely (Hooper Dolan).